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    (Original post by wiwarin_mir)
    But surely being athiest is being just as closed minded, you refuse to concede that a god could exist, so you try to find prove in nature, which regularly is 'updated' when it is close to being disproven.
    Are you religious?
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    How about the actual existence of the universe?

    That's no evidence for a god. If god made the universe, who made him? And who made this person? The Big Bang is a far better theory, with actual proof behind it's name as well. I guess some people don't need proof, or deny it, so that they can remain happy in their fantasy of a benevolant old man who will always forgive them, and make them happy when they die.

    If I'd created the earth I'd probably be quite interested in how it was getting along.

    That's a weak argument... "A look into the mind of god"... lol, I'm convinced. The fact is there are billions of planets and stars, does he check them all on his daily stroll through the cosmos? What did he have for breaksfast today? surely someone travelling a million times faster than the speed of light comsumes a lot of energy? Or does he run on batteries from the local Dixons store?
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    (Original post by DivideByZero)
    Why is it that most people consider believing in such things as God and metaphysical powers (psychic powers etc) to be keeping an open mind?
    Do they?
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    (Original post by piginapoke)
    Science can't currently tell us what (if anything) happened before the big bang and what started it. Plenty of scope there for the metaphysical, but as you suggest, not much scope within the universe itself. Like Hawking said, it seems that if there was a creator He has departed from this Universe and left it to evolve under its own rules.
    Theoretical physics might suggest what started it, although it is unlikely to be as recognisable (and therefore acceptable to some) as the image of god.
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    (Original post by mik1a)
    How about the actual existence of the universe?

    That's no evidence for a god. If god made the universe, who made him? And who made this person? The Big Bang is a far better theory, with actual proof behind it's name as well. I guess some people don't need proof, or deny it, so that they can remain happy in their fantasy of a benevolant old man who will always forgive them, and make them happy when they die
    God isn't a person, and no "person" made God. That's the whole point. Half the reason people find the concept of God so difficult to understand is that he has no beginning or end. Why did anyone have to make God? Why couldn't he have just been there? Why couldn't the big bang have been started by him? If it wasn't, how did it come about? Who started it? How did it get here?

    One thing I can't understand is why people find it more logical that we got here today from a couple of random colliding gases than that we were designed this way. I'm not saying it's impossible, it's just people think that God is such an unrealistic idea and yet it's also seems pretty unrealistic that everything around us is here just because of a chemical coincidence with some gases just happening to meet in the right way.

    (Original post by mik1a)
    If I'd created the earth I'd probably be quite interested in how it was getting along.

    That's a weak argument... "A look into the mind of god"... lol, I'm convinced. The fact is there are billions of planets and stars, does he check them all on his daily stroll through the cosmos? What did he have for breaksfast today? surely someone travelling a million times faster than the speed of light comsumes a lot of energy? Or does he run on batteries from the local Dixons store?
    I wasn't looking into the mind of god. I was just saying that I personally would have been rather interested in how life was going if I myself had created it.
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    Agnosticism is not a belief system, as such, it is more of a lack of a belief system. Consider this, which I posted in another thread:

    "I don't believe it is possible to say anything with absolute certainty - not even that the Earth is roughly spherical. You can say it with relative certainty, because you are making up a logical statement based on the rules of a system, but there is no evidence at all to suggest that the system of rules you are using is absolute.

    Relative truth means nothing, however, so you can't use it to argue anything. It's comparable to me re-writing the axioms of mathamatics and arguing that 1+1 doesn't equal 2 with somebody using the original system of mathamatics. It's a pointless argument - like trying to argue with somebody in Australia from England which way is up and which way is down. If you're not arguing that your 'up' is the 'up' which is absolutely defined by the universe (or God), you're arguing one relative system with another relative system and that's, quite simply, complete *******s. You can't use one system of rules to logically propose anything in a completely different system of rules, nor can you use one system of rules to logically propose an absolute.

    If you're arguing for absolute truth, there is no evidence to support your claim, so people would have to resort to faith if they choose to believe you. If you're arguing for relative truth, you're just a twit, because by being relative your statement means absolutely nothing.

    And that applies to anything you can possibly think of - not just God."


    Faith beliefs are defined as beliefs which are not founded on any evidence. Obviously, this is a relative definition and not an absolute definition, so this is just another example of what I was saying above. In order to successfully communicate, we must be both using the same definitions (or the same system of rules, in other words). You can't make a logical argument with somebody else if you're using a completely different system of rules to them - it is just meaningless.

    I, personally, try not to make any belief in an absolute. I'm sure there are probobly many things that I take for granted and believe without realising, but I would reconsider those things if I knew what they were. An absolute belief is faith, because it is without evidence. I'm not saying faith is 'bad' or anything, because I don't believe in 'bad' either.

    An absolute belief that "science can tell you what the fabric of reality is", is a faith belief too. It may well be absolutely true, what science tells us, but there is no evidence to suggest that it is absolutely true. The outcomes of scientific experiments are simply not credible evidence to suggest absolute truth, and I can't see how any credible evidence can ever be given at all. Maybe, in reality, the observed outcomes of all scientific experiments are being tampered with by God or maybe he is making us observe something that is not really absolutely true with his omnipotent powers. Maybe, in reality, we are just a part of a computer programme (like the Matrix) and all results of all scientific experiments are just as much a part of that computer programme as we are. Maybe the reality is very different to what is being 'simulated' by that computer programme.

    I'm not saying that I believe the crazy claims above, however, but I certainly don't disbelieve them either. These 'what ifs' are all unfalsifiable theories, just like the theory of the existance of a God. Not many people realise this, but there is a big difference between these two statements:
    1: "I believe that God does not exist"
    2: "I do not believe that God exists"


    The first is a belief of absence, but the second is an absence of belief. This is not the same thing. The second can be logically deduced from the first, but NOT the other way around. Consider a newly born baby, for example. Would he/she be an athiest or a thiest? You might say 'athiest', because the baby has no concept of a God at that stage of his/her growth. Their language skills would not be sophisticated enough to even think over the concept in thier own minds. However, an athiest is a person with a belief that God does not exist, and I would not say that a newly born baby has made this belief. Technically, however, the baby would not believe that God exists. This shows us that the two statements are not the same thing. The baby has an absence of belief, not a belief of absence.

    Some people, like me, need evidence to make a belief. If no evidence is available, we simply wont make one. This, however, is an absence of belief, not a belief of absence. Agnostics do not deny the existance of God, we just admit there is know way of knowing the truth. I am a very extreme agnostic, and I don't believe that there is any way of absolutely knowing anything at all.

    You can be certain about the truth of relative statements, like that 1+1=2, by using the rules of a system to logically propose it (mathematics). This means absolutely nothing, however. Maybe it is indeed true absolutely that 1+1=2, but there is no way of knowing. To believe it would require faith.

    The thing about faith (and why I don't make any faith beliefs) is, there are an infinite number of equally credible statements which you could have a faith belief in. What makes a person chose one faith belief over another? You could have a faith belief in invisible leprechauns, because by being invisible they are unfalsifiable. Although there is no evidence to suggest that there are invisible leprechauns lurking around, there is certainly no evidence to suggest that there isn't any either. Why would somebody chose to have a faith belief in God and not invisible leprechauns? Is it simply because invisible leprechauns do not fit into the person's ideal view of the universe? I, personally, have an absence of belief with regards to the existance of invisible leprechauns, not a belief of absence.

    "When you understand why you dismiss the idea of invisible leprechauns, you will understand why I dismiss the idea of a God"
    A slightly edited version of Stephen Roberts' commonly used quotation
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    (Original post by piginapoke)
    As I said in an earlier post here, agnosticism is just an opinion arrived at through consideration of the evidence (or lack of); simply arriving at a conclusion and having in mind that given the evidence in hand you feel a conclusion is the 'right' one is not close-mindedness, its just sensible, its how we do things logically. Arriving at a conclusion (however which way) and then ignoring any other evidence that may appear and ignoring the weight of others' opinions because you will simply not change your mind no matter what is close-mindedness.

    So its not to do with which opinion you hold, its how you adhere to that opinion and how willing you are to accept that you might be wrong and reform your opinion if necessary.
    Well that's just it - I think that it's perfectly acceptable to say that "I accept that I might be wrong" and still hold a belief - perhaps it is yours and mine own view of agnosticism that differs. I believe agnosticism must be absolute, with no leaning in any one direction. Whereas if I were to say "I believe in Buddhism" I am not saying that I believe it blindly, but I accept that it may not be the "right religion". If to you that is "agnosticism" then that is your view.
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    (Original post by sarah101)
    How about the actual existence of the universe?
    Nope. Start a chain of "this must exist to make that, so that exists..." and there's no end to it. All the existence of the universe confirms is that the universe exists.
    If I'd created the earth I'd probably be quite interested in how it was getting along.
    However, to the conjectural creator the earth is only a nimuscule fraction of the whole. It might be interested in all of it, but one small and trivial corner?...
    If there's no reason to start with, how can there then be even less?
    I've been affected by the illogic of religion prevalent on this thread. Will correct.
    You speak as though you KNOW that no superior being exists. There's no real evidence for that viewpoint either, so I don't see how you can be so sure.
    I have not said I know there is no supoerior being. I have merely pointed out the chances are very small that- if there is one- it's concerned with thee and me.
 
 
 
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